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The Discovery House Blog

The Emotional Roller Coaster and the Pink Cloud

The Emotional Roller Coaster and the Pink Cloud

Achieving sobriety is a remarkable relief for those who struggle with addiction. When desperate circumstances provoke an honest desire to seek help overcoming addiction, there is a great freedom from the control of a substance, and joy in finally taking the right steps forward. Why then, is “pink cloud” the term often used to describe this celebratory period in early sobriety, seem to have some irony attributed to it? The answer to this lies in the battle addicts and alcoholics face with emotional ups and downs. The challenge for individuals in recovery is to put the high of this newfound freedom appropriately in perspective. Substance abuse alters moods to extreme shifts between elation and sorrow. Also, addicts and alcoholics tend to self-medicate, the desired effect being to treat unwanted feelings by altering the mind and body. The threat involved in a newcomer’s high on the pink cloud is not only… Read More

Turning Acceptance into Change

Turning Acceptance into Change

             The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change. This quote by American psychologist Carl Rogers is especially powerful for those who want to be, or are in, recovery from drugs or alcohol. Carl Rogers believed that therapy should start with the patient. This is a way of saying that treatment must be individualized to the person at the center of care, the patient. One of the things that he recognized about himself, and those he helped professionally, is that acceptance is the first step to making a change. Acceptance of the pain of life, the stress of life, isn’t easy. It is particular challenging for those with a history of addiction to drugs or alcohol. Often the pain kept inside that may have led to the substance abuse felt easier, at the time, than recognizing… Read More

Character Defects: 3 Ways People Hold On to Them

Character Defects 3 Ways People Hold On to Them

When doing step work as part of Narcotic’s Anonymous (NA), the 4th step is all about doing a personal moral inventory. This is taking a hard look at our character defects. That’s a difficult thing to do, but sometimes it is even harder to let them go once we recognize them for what they are: damaging traits that support addictive behaviors and hinder recovery. Early recovery work from a drug addiction means writing down that inventory. But what do you do when you have a list that often highlights secrets, painful memories, and ways we’ve damaged ourselves and others? Many people continue to hold on to character defects, not knowing what else to do. Four of the most common reasons that we all hold on to a character defect are: Not recognizing the knee-jerk reaction when our character defect takes over Not knowing what else to replace it with Not… Read More

5 Ways Your Character Defects Hinder Your Recovery

5 Ways Your Character Defects Hinder Your Recovery

Recognizing character defects in others is sometimes easier than recognizing our own. Part of the rehab and recovery process for substance abuse means identifying our personal character defects, and recognizing how we let our character defects hinder recovery. Why do character defects hinder recovery from addictions, not allowing us to move on from our past? Here are five ways that personal characteristics may create barriers to personal growth: Mistakenly considering the deficit a strength Not recognizing the presence of a personal character deficit Projecting the defects of others as hindering personal recovery Choosing only to focus on easily managed deficits, instead of more painful or difficult ones Avoid looking at the damage our character deficits have caused (to ourselves and others) Common Character Deficits Present in Addictions A character defect is a personal attribute that causes a negative impact on achieving a positive goal, situation, or desire. Character deficits can… Read More

Writing an Inventory

Writing an Inventory

Writing an inventory is one of the most life changing steps an individual takes in recovery. Much of an alcoholic or addict’s time has been spent up to this point trying to escape a straightforward facing of conflict and resolution. Taking this critical step can be unnecessarily daunting because of this tendency toward avoidance, but once begun, the inventory process becomes cathartic. The initial challenge is finding someone trustworthy to share an inventory with; this decision should not be made hastily, but also should not be put off. The key is to find someone who has a healthy life and attitude, who can be objective in giving feedback and direction, typically another individual with longstanding recovery. When finding the right person, they may offer various formats for outlining all the resentments, dramas, conflicts and challenges faced. These formats are simply guides which create an opportunity to both write out and… Read More

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